Self-Catheterization for Males
How to Perform a Self-Catheterization
Reference guides can be extremely helpful for patients with urological issues to understand how to catheterize and sanitize. Follow this guideline for self catheterization for males to learn more. (Note: When using a coudé catheter, the curved tip must be facing upward, toward your navel.)
- Wash your hands and your penis with warm, soapy water or a moist towelette.
- Lubricate the tip of the catheter. Place the opposite end of the catheter in the toilet or basin. (For a coudé, lubricate the first few inches of the catheter. If using a hydrophilic catheter, please consult the manufacturer information for lubrication instructions.)
- Hold the tip of your penis at a 45° angle from your stomach. Slowly insert the catheter into your urethra. If it is hard to insert, relax. (For a coudé, hold the tip of penis at a 90° angle and insert the catheter with the curved tip facing upward, toward your navel. Some catheters have a guide stripe or dot; make sure this mark is facing up while inserting.) If you feel a sharp pain, remove the catheter and try again. When urine begins to flow, stop inserting the catheter and lower your penis.
- When the urine stops flowing, slowly remove and discard the catheter. Be sure to wash your hands.
Hints & Tips for self-catheterization
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Always use a clean or sterile catheter.
- Follow your schedule whether you feel the need to urinate or not.
- Keep a log of your self-catheterization schedule.
How to Clean Your Catheter
Different male catheters are made for one time use and others are made for re-use if properly cleaned. If yours is intended for reuse, it must be cleaned daily. To note, if the catheter has become dry and brittle over time, discard it. Make sure the area where you clean your catheter is properly sanitized and under no circumstances allow the catheter to touch any bathroom surfaces such as the floor, wall or toilet.
Follow these steps to clean your catheter:
- Begin by diligently washing your hands.
- There are a few options for cleaning your catheter, as it does not have to be sterile, only clean. Soak it in hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes, rinse it with a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water, or simply rinse with warm water and soap.
- Do one final rinse with cold water.
- Hang the catheter over a clean towel and let it air dry.
- Once dry, store in a new plastic bag.
When To Call the Doctor
Even though self-catheterization is safe, occasionally problems may arise. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blood in your urine
- Little or no urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Sand-like particles in your urine
- Leakage between catheterizations
- Pain when inserting catheter
- Lower back or abdomen pain
- Low-grade fever of 100.4° or higher
Direct any self-catheterization medical questions to a health care professional. Always consult with your physician before modifying any course of treatment.